Thursday, July 18, 2013

Swimming

As I mentioned in my previous entry, we joined a private swim club for the summer. I'd read something about the place years ago when I was desperately trying to find someplace to get some swim therapy and the boys some lessons. Sadly, back then the "Cruiser's Club" was only open to residents of Sparta/Lake Mohawk. Apparently previous owners tried to open the place up to wider membership but the then current members voted it down. Not surprisingly, the place went under and the property was lost to the bank. It had been a private swim and tennis club since sometime in the 1920s, but the times they had a-changed and, as we all know, you gotta change with them.

Fast forward a few years and you have the current owners acquiring the property from the bank and making some much needed changes. They did away with the tennis courts (loads of other places to play tennis, after all), they modernized the parking, entrance (now handicapped accessible), locker room/restroom facilities, snack bar, and made extensive repairs to the pool itself. There are even more plans in the works for updates, but they wisely did the essentials first so the new Lake Mohawk Pool could be open for new members this summer.

I have to thank a neighbor for telling me about the new pool. She doesn't know she told me...she posted a "like" to the Lake Mohawk Pool FaceBook page and I just happened to see it on my feed. I always perk up when I see the word "pool" and was so glad I peeped the page.

Now for the real point of this post. I love to swim. I always have. I feel most at home in the water. Perhaps I was a fish in a previous life incarnation (if you believe in that sort of thing.) All I know is, once I sink into a pool of water, I feel this rush of relief coupled with a mood-elevating jolt of joy. It is one of the few times I feel pain free with a certain grace and freedom of movement. I am buoyant. Effervescent! I feel 20 years younger and 100 lbs lighter. It's a great feeling.

The boys have been enjoying the swim club too. For Tyler its all a matter of timing. We have to go when the crowds thin, the sun is low in the sky, and the noise level is manageable. It's been hit and miss, so far. If pool conditions are not to his liking, he can make our planned family fun time into a time of complete misery. Max, on the other hand, is happy to swim no matter what. He is a little fish, just like his Momma. If only he would learn to swim AND lift his head to breathe at the same time. He goes to take a breath and forgets to stay afloat/keep swimming. The kid sinks like a stone.

With one child who swims rather well now and wants to spend his time in deep water with Momma and the other who wants to spend his time where his feet can touch the ground...oh, it gets ugly. Tyler doesn't understand why I have to cater to Max. He doesn't get the whole "He is only 6, can't swim well and needs Mommy to stay with him and watch him." I wish the husband liked to swim. It's a lot easier when we can split things down the middle. John is not a fish. He doesn't like spending much time in the water. He'll hang out in the shallow end for a bit and likes it, for short periods on very hot days, but ultimately it's not his thing.

Poor Tyler was completely fed up a couple days ago. He did NOT want to hang in the shallow end and he wanted me to swim with him. No, he didn't want to go meet some new kids. No, he didn't want to dive by himself for a bit. NO he did not want to swim laps alone. NO he did NOT want to spend money in the arcade (did I mention they added a small arcade at the pool?) So he spent all his time blocking Max from practicing swimming from the wall to me, trying to push Max under the water, grabbing my arm and pulling me, and generally just being a big old horse-fly. I wanted to swat him. Add in the constant chorus of "Can we go home now?" and you get the picture.

It all culminated in Tyler putting his hand down right on top of a bee that had landed on the lane line floats. Getting his first bee sting trumped all, so we headed home for the day. Max was in tears. He just wanted to swim. So I told him Tyler would stay home with his beloved video games and WE would go swimming the next day, just the two of us. Tyler thought this was a fab idea. He was so done with the pool.

So we did it. Yesterday, it was a Max and Momma day at the pool. We practiced his swim lessons. We had contests to see who could stay underwater the longest. We tried to hold very bubbly conversations while sitting on the bottom of the pool in the shallows. I taught him how to "dive" like a dolphin. Then we played "Dolphin Delivery Service" - a game Max created. I was the dolphin and he rode on my back to various places bring packages and mail. I swam us all the way to Africa. Yes I did! I even tried to teach him how to do hand-stands in the pool. He can do it, if I hold his ankles and keep him upside down.



We had a ball! At one point, we were playing "work" and Max announced that we were both 17 and our boss was 48. His name was Maxwell and I was Rebecca and we had a lot of paperwork to do. The things he comes up with...it's hilarious. But I really felt like I was a teen again. I haven't felt that playful and energized in a long long LONG time. I was also completely waterlogged and, by the time we were kicked out of the pool at closing time, we were both exhausted.

I really want Tyler to swim. He needs the exercise and to get away from his computer for a while. But I think I may try for one more day of Max and Momma swim time. Maybe I need to alternate days. Take the boys one at a time. It's sad that we can't work out how to SHARE the Momma at the pool. But I will do what needs to be done to keep the peace.

But for now, I'm off to ask Max if he wants to go play mermaid beauty salon with Momma. That was a game I invented as a child. Or fish tea party. Time for this fishy to return to the water.

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